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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Anthropology

Finding Reviews for History Books

There are several databases and indexes to find reviews of a particular book, depending on:

  • Whether you want scholarly or non-scholarly reviews
  • The publication date of the book.

Finding a review of a specific history book may prove to be a piece of cake, or more time-consuming with having to look in several databases or indexes, because not every book is reviewed. General interest books are more likely to be reviewed in general interest periodicals, like newspapers or magazines, while scholarly works are more likely to be reviewed in journals. Also, it may take a while for scholarly reviews to be published. Generally they aren't reviewed until at least a year after the book was published.

Each of our databases and print indexes has a different scope of the number and type of periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers) covered, as well as date range. The sources are arranged by the type of book reviews and publication dates you’ll find within the source.

Type of Periodical & Publication Date of Book

I want to find scholarly book reviews from major anthropology journals and my book was published at least six years ago.

     Use JSTOR.

  • Coverage: Over 100 anthropology journals from the first issue to 3-5 years ago.
  • Search hints: Use the advanced search to do a keyword search for the title of your book and author's last name (especially if it's a common title that may produce a lot of search results) and limit to reviews. Results are relevancy-ranked. (lowest rankings indicate the book is mentioned in passing within the article.)

I want to do a comprehensive search for book reviews from anthropology journals and my book was published before 2003.

     Use Anthrosource

  • Coverage: Indexes over 20 journals & newsletters published by the American Anthropological Association (AAA).  Many of the AAA publications started publications between the 1960's-1990's.  Their oldest journal, the American Anthropologist, started in 1888. 
  • Search hints: Try searching the title of your book. *Note: If you do find a book review, it will only be the citation and not the full-text.  To try and find the review, you have to do a journal title search in the library catalog to see if we own the journal either online in one of our databases or in print.

My book was published between 1905 and 1980, and I want to find reviews from popular newspapers and magazines and a few journals.

     Use Book Review Digest Retrospective. (We also have Book Review Digest in print, Ref Z1035 .A1 B3558 1905-present.)

  • Coverage: Indexes around 500 magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals from 1905 to 1982.
  • Search hints: Try searching the title/author of your book. No full text articles available within the database – just excerpts from the reviews. To locate the full text, click on Check for Full-Text link to search the EWU Catalog and see if we have that particular journal or magazine online or in print.

I want to find reviews from popular newspapers and magazines and some scholarly journals and my book was published after 1965.

     Use Book Review Index: A print set located in Reference, call number Ref Z1035 .A1 B6.

  • Coverage: Indexes around 400 magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals, from 1965 to the present. Covers more scholarly journals than Book Review Digest (Ref Z1035 .A1 B3558 1905-pres.). See the list of periodicals and their abbreviations in the preface.
  • Search hints:Citations to reviews are arranged by year and author of the book (includes title index in the back). Start with the year the book was published, though you may have to keep looking in subsequent years. Offers a brief citation: abbreviation of the periodical – volume/issue/page – approximate number of words in the review (1-50, 51-500, or 501+).
    • You can use the EWU Library Catalog to see if we have that particular journal or magazine online or in print.

I want to find reviews from popular newspapers and magazines and scholarly journals, and my book was published after 2000.

Try these all-subjects online databases:

     Academic Search Complete – best for scholarly journals

  • Coverage: Full text articles from around 5500 magazines and scholarly journals, including 4600 journals. (Offers indexing for another 4000 titles.) Some titles start in 1975 or earlier, but most start in the late 1990s. For history, includes indexing and/or full text articles from around 800 titles. Does not offer much in the way of reviews from newspapers.
  • Search hints: Type in unique words from the title/author and limit the Document Type to Book Review. If there is no link to the full article, click the yellow Check for Full Text button to see if it's online in another database, or we have it in print.

     ProQuest – solid mix of newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals

  • Coverage: Indexing from over 4300 periodicals (of which 2200 are journals), with around half of the articles available full text.
  • Search hints: Type in unique words from the title/author and limit the Document type to Review - Book Review. If there is no link to the full article, click the yellow Check for Full Text button to see if it's online in another database, or we have it in print.

     Nexis Uni – purely for non-scholarly newspaper and magazine reviews

  • Coverage: Full text articles from thousands of newspapers and magazines. Dates vary, with most starting in the late 1990s, but with a few titles (Christian Science Monitor, New York Times) as far back as 1980.
  • Search hints: Click on News in the red toolbar at the top; then under Sources choose Book, Movie, Music, Play & Video Reviews. This limits you to around 140 newspapers and magazines that offer reviews.